Although we are just getting underway, 2016 promises to be an interesting year for hospital pharmacy given the increasing pace of regulatory change. With updates expected to USP General Chapter <797>, as well as the awaited release of USP General Chapter <800> Hazardous Drugs —Handling in Healthcare Settings, many facilities are reviewing their operations to ensure there is alignment between the regulations and actual practice.
No one expects instant conformity to the tenets of these chapters, but just as USP <797> has proven its worth over the years, the updates to USP <800> also are expected to gain agreement, at least in principle. Acquiring the resources necessary to enact a level of service commensurate to USP guidance (as well as other regulatory bodies, such as the DEA and FDA) can be challenging, but as with most process improvement projects, there is significant value to getting an early start.
Recently, the USP Expert Committee approved a delayed official implementation date for USP <800> of July 1, 2018. However, this should not be viewed as a 2-year buffer zone in which to wait. Rather, health systems should seize the opportunity to begin the preparation process now.
Preliminary processes, such as forecasting budget requirements, staffing needs, and equipment and supplies purchasing can enable a smoother transition down the line. At Pharmacy Purchasing & Products, we believe that promoting patient and practitioner safety alike is on par with a commitment to delivering efficacious medication treatment.
PP&P will continue to revisit the important topics surrounding regulatory change throughout the year and delve into detail in our annual State of Pharmacy Compounding supplement in April. In the meantime, we encourage you to get a jump-start in providing the best possible care, not only for your patients, but also yourselves.
All the best,
R. Mitchell Halvorsen
P.S. The staff of PP&P would like to congratulate one of our editorial advisors—Eric Kastango—a 2015 ISMP Cheers Award recipient! The Cheers Awards honor individuals, organizations, and companies that set a superlative standard of excellence for others to follow in the prevention of medication errors and adverse drug events.